There’s no room for litterbugs in Westport, since the County Mayo town in the south of Ireland has been crowned Ireland’s tidiest for many years running. Westport is an early example of a planned town, by the order of Lord Sligo of Westport House to house his workers and tenants. When he asked for something, it generally got done – this time courtesy of James Wyatt, Westport’s architect and designer. And didn’t it turn out well, because Westport today is a charming vision of tree-lined boulevards, resplendent with flowers, the Mall being a particularly good example.
Westport’s spectacular backdrop is supplied by Croagh Patrick and pilgrims still traipse here every year barefoot in memory of St Patrick (whether they fast for 40 days and 40 nights like he did 1500 years ago is more doubtful). From the top, magnificent views of Clewes bay can be had, said to be one of the best angling spots in Europe.
Cosy pubs mingle with modern shops, hotels and restaurants and a stroll along the River Carrowbegis a pleasant way to pass an evening. Westport also has blue flag beaches within spitting distance which never tend to get packed, for perfect seaside relaxation.
Westport’s Top 10
10. Westport Golf Club is one of the top in the county and welcomes guests. Tee off in idyllic surroundings.
5. Visit the Islands of Mayo, situated on the doorstep of Westport town. Offshore jewels which number 365, one for every day of the year.
9. Westport Adventure islands The place to head for an afternoon of sailing instruction or a spot of laser combat.
4. The Pirate Adventure Park calls young buccaneers to enjoy its fun facilities, in the grounds of historical Westport House.
8. The Croagh Patrick Riding Stables have enough well schooled horses and ponies to cope with the most incompetent of riders.
3. Custom House Studio at the Quay has some splendid examples of contemporary art.
7. The Great Western Greenway A cycling and walking trail along Clew bay and the longest in Ireland.
2. Westport Quay has a number of good restaurants, many serving delicious fresh seafood.
6. If you only get to one beach, make it Bertra beach in Murrisk, just ten minutes from Westport, a drive which is an attraction in itself.
1. The Clew bay Heritage Centre located at Westport Harbour is great for a glimpse of local times past.
Westport comes over all healthy during February in an annual event the Westport Wellness Week Festival.
Westport’s Horse and Pony Show takes place in May/June each year. An equestrian highlight.
Westport Folk & Blue Grass Festival in June – feel the vibe.
Westport Sea Angling Festival in June is a nationally acclaimed event and has been going for 42 years attracting an international crowd.
Westport Music Festival in July/August has been reborn in recent years and is now a five day event held at the Fairgreen.
The Croaghh Patrick Pilgrimage is held on the last Sunday in July where many come to pay homage to the country’s Patron Saint.
Gaelforce Westport Adventure Festival takes place in August and is full of surprises.
Westport Horse Fair in September attracts folk from all around. Listen to the banter and the bartering or prop up the bar, whilst listening to traditional Irish music.
Westport Arts Festival in an October event which celebrates the best of art, music and literature.
The Westport Seafood Festival is held on the October Bank Holiday weekend for sumptuous fresh food caught in local waters.
WHEN TO GO
· During a trip to Westport be prepared to experience all four seasons in one day. Whilst there is only a relatively small difference in temperatures throughout the year, days that start out sunny can end up stormy and overcast and vice versa. Summer is when you are likely to get the most sunshine with longer days and a higher likelihood of fine weather.
· Temperatures in Westport are unlikely to drop below 10°C during the summer months with average highs of around 23°C. January and February are the coldest months and while temperatures seldom drop below zero, it can get extremely cold at times.
· Work on the basis that rain is likely every day and be happily surprised when it doesn’t.
· The regional airports are Ireland West Airport Knock which is 36 miles away with daily scheduled daily flights to the UK and Galway Airport. Galway Airport is just over an hours’ drive.
· The N5 links Westport to Castlebar and the N4 near Longford links the town to Dublin. Bus Eireann runs a regular service from Derry.
· Westport Railway station has a connecting service to Dublin Heuston – a journey time of around 3 and a half hours. The station is just a little out of town on the Galway Road. There is airport bus from Dublin Airport to Heuston which can be booked in advance.
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Travellers looking for an idyllic place to stay for the whole family while on vacation in the heritage town find comfortable base at Best Western Plus Westport Woods Hotel. While in Westport,... More
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